MTC Decides to Gamble on $70 Million in Federal Funds



The Metropolitan Transportation Commission voted yesterday to give BART three weeks to devise a plan that will satisfy federal authorities who threatened to withhold $70 million in funding for it controversial tramway to the Oakland airport. If BART fails to meet the new February 17 deadline, then the MTC hopes to redirect the $70 million in federal funding to cash-strapped transportation agencies throughout the Bay Area, including about $7 million to AC Transit.

But there is no guarantee that federal authorities will agree to redirect the money before a March 5 deadline. And if they don’t, then the feds plan to strip the Bay Area of all the funds. The Federal Transit Administration issued its threat to BART earlier this month after learning that BART had failed to analyze — as required by law — the financial hardships on minorities associated with replacing a $3 shuttle to the airport with an elevated guide way that may cost passengers $6 per ride.